A recent scientific study may shed light on the reproductive patterns of Candida albicans, the usually unremarkable – but sometimes dangerous – resident of the human gut. The study, published in Nature in May 2009, examined candida’s reproductive activity and mechanisms for thriving in the human digestive tract.
Candida is a microbial yeast that commonly resides in the intestines of the human body, part of a large community of digestive bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms. According to Science Daily, the report – conducted by a group of professors at the University of Minnesota and Tel Aviv University – gives insight into candida’s evolutionary background and subsequent reproductive mechanisms. A more thorough understanding of candida’s reproductive design could lead to breakthroughs in medicine treatment options.
Although C. albicans can usually inhabit a human’s gut with little to no complication, it can also cause a variety of diseases and maladies, such as thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth), vaginal yeast infections, blood infections and, in severe cases, organ failure. Science Daily reported that about 400,000 people die each year from complications associated with candida.
The study examined candida organisms to monitor sexual behavior. Although many single-celled organisms reproduce asexually, some are able to create offspring via sexual mating. The study found that rare candida organisms do just this, creating more genetic variation within the candida population. By researching these unique organisms, scientists will be able to understand how candida DNA evolves to thrive within the human digestive tract. A better understanding of candida’s biological relationship with its environment should help scientists pinpoint what causes candida strains to reproduce uncontrollably, often resulting in infection.
Candida imbalance sometimes goes unnoticed, as sufferers without severe infections may associate the disease’s fatigue, heartburn, bloating, depression and diarrhea with other sources. Candida can lead to regular reproductive yeast infections in women, as well.
Western herbal offers a variety of products that can help curb candida problems. Those who are looking to rebalance their digestive health should seek to avoid sugars, processed and unhealthy foods, alcohol and, if possible, oral contraceptives. Eating a diet rich in plant foods and low in processed carbohydrates and fatty meats can help create a path to balanced candida production. Melanie Grimes of Natural News recommends that candida sufferers combine a raw diet with healthy probiotics and other supplements.